Green River Cabins utilizes lean techniques to improve productivity with help from SCMEP

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Company Overview

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Campobello, South Carolina, Green River Cabins was purchased in 2006. Along with the purchase came a wealth of knowledge in RV and cabin manufacturing. Customers are able to start with one of their 20+ plans and adapt from there to create their perfect cabin. By offering over extremely efficient HVAC & appliances, superior engineering and structural calculations, and using renewable materials whenever possible, Green River Cabins has earned a reputation of excellence in the industry. Their craftsmen engineer and build each custom, energy-efficient cabin in a controlled indoor environment. Customers are able to watch the entire 2-3 week process on cabin cams.

Situation

In early 2012, Green River Cabins needed to ramp up after the recession. They found that their systems were undocumented and existed solely (or not) in the minds of the plant floor staff. Many procedures had been forgotten over the previous three-year downturn. Their manufacturing process was undocumented and needed to be revived from beginning to end.

Solution

Green River Cabins was looking for ways to transform their processes and turned to SCMEP for assistance. A SIPOC and Lean Tools Implementation was one of the first projects completed. The project involved training personnel and implementing a variety of lean tools to improve the capacity and other issues of the, then current, manufacturing system. Next was a two-day, on-site Value Stream Analysis workshop. The workshop helped to identify and quantify the waste reduction opportunities that exist for a particular product or product family. Through the application of lean tools, a future state map was created along with an implementation plan to make the future state a reality. Lean Tools training was then completed in two separate five-day modules, for a total of ten days. These modules consisted of approximately 50% classroom and 50% on-floor actual focus studies. Lastly was the Plant Floor Layout. SCMEP provided Green River Cabins with a resource to conduct a review of the new building layout, and develop a lean layout to provide maximum utilization for the space. 

Results

SCMEP was able to help map processes from beginning to end which allowed the company to reinvigorate the right parts of the process. The effects of these projects were felt immediately. Within days, productivity increased by 38%. Productivity has continued to rise due to a much deeper understanding of plant processes. In early 2012 when the projects began, approximately 26 full-time employees were at Green River Cabins. Currently, they have roughly 41 full-time employees. Sales have increased by more than $2 million since the projects started.

“Depending on the issue, SCMEP is one of South Carolina’s best engineering and solutions providers. When we needed to ramp up our production after the recession, SCMEP helped us immediately raise productivity levels by 38%. It has been a tremendous payback on time and dollars invested. They are also very aware of state funding that may help defray costs of consulting work.” Dean Garritson, President, Green River Cabins

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